Peter Linck believes simple is better.
So when a sore back began to affect his favorite hobby, the Staten Island native made a major — and extremely unusual — change in his delivery.
Instead of using his customary five-step approach, Linck, who now lives in Valatie, employs a one-step method.
And it works quite well.
The 68-year-old former communications company employee recently posted games of 299, 267, 245, 280 and 214 in the Bob Haith Invitational Singles league at Sunset Recreation. That unusual five-game individuals league makes things a lot tougher on its members, since they change lanes every game, just like a tournament format.
Linck also has won two New Era Senior Tour events and has qualified for the Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show” television finals twice since he switched deliveries.
He averages 208 at Sunset, not bad for a guy pushing 70.
“I started using the one-step approach a little more than a year ago because my back was killing me,” said Linck. “It took a lot of practice, but I’ve got it down pretty well now.”
Linck explained that Jim Burton, a leaguemate and the tournament director for NEST, gave him a few pointers.
“Jim even bowls with a one-step approach every once in a while in league play, but he won’t use it in tournaments,” Linck said.
“I would definitely recommend the one-step approach if you are having trouble. They used to teach people that method when they first learned the game. They would start with one step, then go to two, three, four and even five.
“With just one step, it takes walking out of the picture, and you don’t have to worry about falling down,” he said with a laugh.
“The whole thing is, if you swing the ball straight to start with, you will probably swing it straight with the one-step approach. The stance is almost the same as the five-step approach,” Linck explained. “Your left foot is planted forward, and you stand about four feet behind the line. Then, you take one step. You judge how long that step should be by moving back from the foul line. When your arm is at the full height of the backswing, that’s when you take the full step.”
Linck said he has lost only a little speed with the new delivery. He figures he throws the ball between 14 and 15 miles per hour.
“I use a wrist support, because I have carpal tunnel [syndrome],” he said. “But I try to roll the ball as straight as possible, because straighter is greater. The only problem is that you have to bowl according to the alleys, and at Sunset, the lanes run quite a bit.”
Linck still uses a 15-pound ball, and has no trouble with pin carry.
Since moving to the Capital Region from Staten Island in 1987, Linck has 10 perfect games and two 800 triples. He also won the East Greenbush scratch singles title twice.
Linck bowls four or five times a week, including three leagues at Sunset. He used to bowl at Hometown Lanes in Mechanicville, but doesn’t want to travel that far from home any more.
So, if you are bowling in a senior scratch tournament and happen to see a tall guy with glasses using a one-step delivery, don’t think he’s just fooling around. It works for him. Maybe you should give it a try.
HUCK FINN CORNER
Qualifying for the next Huck Finn scratch singles event will be Saturday at 3 p.m. at Green Island Lanes ($40 entry fee) and Sunday at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Spare Time Latham ($50 entry fee). First place will be $750, and second place will be $400.
Also, qualifying for the second annual Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York Adult/Junior Tournament continues Sunday at Sportsman’s Bowl at 1 p.m. Teams can also qualify in-house or March 3 at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Middleburgh Lanes or at Spare Time East Greenbush March 16 at 12:30 and 3 p.m. There will be two divisions: Division 2 for bowlers with a team average under 360 and Division 1 for teams with averages 361 and higher. Handicap will be
90 percent of 360. One in eight teams advance to the semifinals. Entry fee is $25 per team.
By the way, last Sunday’s show, which went nearly a half-hour with sound but no video, was a Fox 23 issue, not a problem with “Capital Region Bowling Show’s” staff. Plenty of bowling fans that I ran into last week asked me what was going on.
This week’s show, which normally airs at 11 a.m., will start at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate the Daytona 500 coverage.
Speaking of Huck Finn events, I’ve been thinking that it’s about time that all “special” Huck Finn tournaments other than the usual scratch singles events should be named after one of our great current or past bowling standouts.
We’ve already got tournaments named after Jack Scaccia Sr. (season-ending championship), Barb Leicht-Bowers (scratch women), Joe Donato (scratch seniors) and Kenny Hall (Tournament of Champions).
Why not add Morris Cramer, Johnny Walther and Skip Vigars to the list, just to name a few. And at least one of the junior events should be named after sponsor Bob Daubney. Even though the Capital District Junior Pro-Scoring league is already named after Joey Schmidt, it wouldn’t hurt to name one of the Huck Finn junior events after that great legend, either.
STRIKES & SPARES
The Schenectady County Communitiy College men’s bowling team won the Region 3 championship last weekend, with Hudson Valley CC finishing second. The Royals, ranked 34th overall among all collegiate teams, are heading to the two-year national championships from Feb. 28 to March 2 in Buffalo. Both the SCCC men and women will be competing in the XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championship regionals March 9-10 at AMF Parkway Lanes in Allentown, Pa.
Qualifying for the 11th annual Joe Donato Scratch Singles tournament begins Sunday at 2 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry fee is $50. Call Ton Donato at 496-7812 for more information.
The 18th annual Blizzard Bowl starts March 9 at 9:45 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Other squads for the team event are March 16 at
9:45 p.m., March 24 at 11:45 a.m., April 7 at 11:45 a.m., April 14 at 11:45 a.m. and April 20 at 9:45 p.m. Entry fee is $60 per four-person team. Also, singles, doubles and all-events will be available at Burnt Hills Lanes on March 23, April 6, April 13 and April 20, all at 12:30. Entry fee is $15 per event.
Jim Stedman of Latham won more than $600 in a special jackpot promotion at Spare Time Latham recently. He had to throw strikes in certain designated frames during his match.
The 80th annual Schenectady USBC Bowling Association Championship Tournament, sponsored by The Daily Gazette, begins March 16 and runs through April 29 at Towne Bowling Academy. Top prize for the four-person team event will be $1,200. Entry fee is $22 per event, including team, doubles and singles.
Paul Dramazos rolled 27 consecutive strikes with back-to-back 300s and a 232 for an 832 triple in the Mixed Nuts league at Olympic Lanes last week. He finished with 32 strikes in his series. The right-hander now has 14 perfect games and is averaging 218 in the Mixed Nuts league. He also averages 221 in the Rensselaer County Men league, also at Olympic.
Former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair, who now runs the pro shop at Del Lanes, rolled back-to-back perfect games on the way to an 869 triple at Del Lanes.
There were some big numbers in the Joey Schmidt Capital District Junior Pro-Scoring League recently. Mackenzie Morine of Hilltop Bowl rolled a 299 game and a 756 in the girls’ division at Del Lanes, while Patrick Devoe shot a perfect game en route to a 708 triple in the senior boys western division at Sunset Recreation.
Jeremy Yando defeated Ron Gardner, 244-205, in the finals of the 38th annual Troy Bowling Association 700 Tournament Saturday at Hi-Way Recreation. There were four qualifying squads and a stepladder finals.
Matt Sherman and Bob Faragon combined to win the Towne Bowling Academy Scratch Doubles event last weekend. They finished ahead of Jamie Diamond and Rick Mochrie Jr.
The next Schenectady/Scotia Women’s 500 Club tournament will be a Mixed Doubles March 3 at 3 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Both bowlers must be USBC certified. One of the bowlers must be a member of the 500 Club. There will be a buffet following the tournament for an additional fee. Extra forms will be left at the bowling centers. For an entry form, contact Marie Moorhead on 399-3063 or Marianne Hogle on 393-8907.
Playdium Bowling Center will host the Bowl for Our Veterans 3-6-9 Tournament March 2 at noon and 2 p.m. Entry fee is $12. Proceeds help provide recreational and entertainment services to hospitalized veterans in VA Medical Centers. Food, baked goods and raffles will be available. Call Kathy Nucci at 458-7639 for more information.
Debbie Mustico of the Monday’s Funnies league rolled her first 500 series last week (188-526).
Gregg Van Gelder of the KAPL Mixed league registered his first 600 series with a 243-647.
Many of the top female bowlers in the Capital Region will compete in the 43rd annual Women’s Doubles Invitational Saturday at Boulevard Bowl.
The annual Electric City 600 Club Tournament will be at Sportsman’s Bowl Sunday at 1 p.m. Entry forms have been delivered to the lanes and labeled with the names of the bowlers that have bowled a 600 series. All entry forms must be turned in before Thursday. Contact Marianne Hogle at 393-8907 if you need a form.